Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register
Al-Hity 2021

Personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance during a global pandemic: a statistical analysis of National perceived confidence, knowledge and educational deficits amongst UK-based doctors

  1. Study Type
  2. Observational
  1. Study Aim
  2. Other
  3. Health Services Research
  1. Study Design
  2. Cross-sectional
  1. Intervention Assignment
  2. Not Applicable

Personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance during a global pandemic: a statistical analysis of National perceived confidence, knowledge and educational deficits amongst UK-based doctors

Al-Hity S, Bhamra N, Kumar R, Gupta KK, Howard J, Jolly K, Darr A
Journal article
Report Results
INTRODUCTION: On the 11th of March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a global pandemic following the upsurge of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Unprecedented global demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) resulted in restricted availability, as well as evolving guidance on use, the latter of which was complicated by conflicting guidance provided by numerous healthcare bodies. AIM: To assess perceived confidence and knowledge of PPE guidance as published by Public Health England (PHE) amongst doctors of varying specialties and grades. METHOD: A nationwide 11-point survey comprising of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and a 5-point Likert scale assessing perceived confidence was disseminated to UK-based doctors using multiple platforms. Statistical analysis using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), Tukey's honest significant difference (Tukey HSD) and Pearson's chi-squared test was undertaken to assess for statistical significance. RESULTS: Data collated from 697 respondents revealed that average perceived confidence was low across all specialties and grades. Notably, 59% (n=411) felt they had received insufficient education regarding up-to-date guidance, with 81% (n=565) advocating further training. Anaesthetics and ophthalmology were highest and lowest scoring specialties in knowledge-based MCQs, achieving scores of 59% and 31%, respectively. Statistical analysis revealed significant differences between specialty, but not grade. CONCLUSION: Ensuring uniformity in published guidance, coupled with education may aid knowledge and subsequent confidence regarding the appropriate use of PPE. The absence of a unified consensus and sustained training not only poses significant ramifications for patient and healthcare professional (HCP) safety, but also risks further depletion of already sparse resources. Because of the novelty of COVID-19, appropriate personal protective equipment is continually evolving leaving an absence in formal training and education. This paper reveals insight into confidence and knowledge of personal protective equipment amongst doctors of various specialities/grades during a global pandemic, highlighting key deficits in education and training